Computer software is a very different space that we play in today compared to 5 years ago. Windows Vista was a big dud, so people still clung to XP that was nearly 6 years old. The Mac OS was safely out of the dark ages, but version 10.5 still hadn’t been released yet and people didn’t trust the Mac like they do today. Phones? People typed like mad on their Blackberries, but these were seen as separate “work devices” for a certain segment of our daily lives. Palm’s phones were very functional and popular but annoying enough that a grandmother or not-so-tech-savvy person wouldn’t even bother to get involved. The iPhone was barely a couple months old, but there were no apps that you could add to your phone. It was an experiment. Android? Still in its mother’s womb……
It’s 2012 and it’s a new world. We want to get our contacts from our iPhone back to our computer and without effort — whether that computer be a Windows or a Mac based system. We want our Android phone to sync calendar appointments with our laptop. We want to start a document on our computer and then make some edits on our tablet and then e-mail it off to someone else for review. THIS IS ALL POSSIBLE NOW. There are still gaps which cause us to stumble, but the idea of a seamless world of personal technology has arrived.
You understand where we’ve been — but where are we going? I’ve been consuming a lot of technology related media lately (I rarely watch TV). I’ve expanded the variety of media I consume to include many Windows and enterprise focused sources, along with the steady diet of Mac info that I take in. I get most of this information via “podcasts” (which those of you in the ‘old school’ can think of as taped radio shows). Where are we going? SUBSCRIPTIONS.
We are moving away from boxed software. You will not have go out and buy a CD (or DVD) to update your computer. The purchases will come in through downloads and you will have the security of knowing that you will always be up to date, greatly reducing your chances at getting a virus or other confusion. Some hints and a preview that we are moving in this direction…..
-In 2011, Apple released their new operating system (OS) 10.7. It cost $30.
-In early 2012, Apple announced that they were going to release a new OS every year.
– In July 2012, Apple released OS 10.8 for $20 as a download only purchase.
– Each year iPhone and iPad devices get major updates and a few minor updates. While there is no cost, the purchase of your device is the ticket to your subscription.
– Microsoft Windows 8 is being released on October 26 — for an extremely low price of $40 — a download directly from Microsoft.
– It is expected that there will be a Windows 8.1 or Windows 9 about a year from then at a similarly reasonable price.
– Microsoft Office 2013 (which includes a program that many of us love — Word) is going to be PRIMARILY sold as a subscription offering.
– Intended at the consumer market the new Office 365 subscription will cost approximately $10 per month BUT you can install Office on 5 devices including desktops, laptops, Windows and Mac.
– An Office-alternative for Mac, Neo Office, that I have touted for many years requires a donation of $10 to $25 per year to keep getting updates for its product.
This is where software is going. It may be hard to accept. I think its good, but I understand your resistance to change. Companies like Microsoft had to change too or face death caused by the lack of understanding market trends and ultimately customers’ desires.